17-032 Ice Harbor Dam’s navigation lock return-to-service date delayed; other locks remain on schedule to reopen as previously announced

Published March 18, 2017
BURBANK, Wash. – The navigation lock at Ice Harbor Dam, located at lower Snake River mile 9.7 near Burbank, Washington, requires additional work to address an unexpected mechanical issue that recently developed during the downstream lock gate’s commissioning process, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials in the Walla Walla District announced, today.

In the interest of lock-user safety, Corps maintenance staff and engineers are investigating unusual “popping” noises that occur while the gate hoist machinery of both towers are in operation. Engineers plan to use advanced instrumentation to further analyze the noise and determine a remedy. The lock is now tentatively scheduled to reopen at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 23. Other locks in the system remain on schedule to reopen as previously announced.

“We regret the impact to our navigation stakeholders caused by this delay in reopening the lock at Ice Harbor,” said Corps Project Manager Steve Thompson. “We understand the importance inland navigation transport has to the economy, and are doing all we can to restore safe, reliable lock service for our navigation stakeholders as quickly as possible.”

The Corps of Engineers is nearing the scheduled end of an extended navigation lock maintenance outage, which began December 12, 2016. The coordinated 14-week-long closure has affected all eight Corps navigation locks on the Columbia and Snake rivers, during which time critical, non-routine repairs and maintenance, plus routine maintenance and scheduled improvements are being completed.

Bonneville Dam’s navigation lock reopened on February 9, as scheduled. McNary Dam’s lock reopened yesterday, March 17, three days ahead of schedule. The Dalles, John Day, Lower Monumental, and Lower Granite locks and dams remain scheduled to return to service at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 20.

As previously announced in Corps news releases, Little Goose Dam’s downstream navigation lock gate cannot be returned to service by March 20 because of delays due to weather, onsite efficiency, and unforeseen crack repair requirements on the south navigation lock gate. It is currently estimated to reopen at 11:59 p.m. on April 2.

The Corps continues to communicate and coordinate with Columbia-Snake River Navigation System users and stakeholders.

For more information about the 2016-2017 Columbia-Snake Rivers Extended Navigation Lock Outage, visit the Corps’ webpage http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/FY17LockOutage.aspx.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 17-032